It may already Spring in Arkansas, but it's still winter in Edmonton. Just as my mother called to tell me that the jonquils were blooming and it was "shorts weather" back home, another six inches of snow began falling here. However, just because we're up to our ankles in white stuff doesn't mean we can't enjoy the out-of-doors. Indeed, one of the few things that's gotten me through this long winter is the joy of long winter walks. Most afternoons I head down to the river valley and walk some portion of its wooded trails. Wiley Mother Nature made the steep bluffs of the Old Saskatchewan inhospitable to development, and so roughly 200km of river front right in the middle of town remains untouched. (Otherwise wiley developers would have long ago dotted such prime real estate with shopping centers and strip malls.)
Except for the occasional hum of traffic in the distance you would never know you were in the heart of downtown. The woods along the river are dense with fir and spruce and birch and poplar, and their snowy branches muffle every sound but birdsong. Chickadees, magpies, and even woodpeckers are available in profusion. There are deer and beavers, too, although the only sign of their presence is a fallen tree or a set of footprints in the snow.
I never thought that my move to Edmonton, a city of over one million, would take me "back to Nature," but it has. So even if the city doesn't have art or culture or nice weather, at least there are some compensations.